Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Elaine L. Gates
Elaine Patricia Lamberton Gates - Of Centerport, NY (formerly of Northport, NY, and Brooklyn, NY), on October 11, 2023, 95 years of age. Elaine passed away peacefully early morning on October 11th with daughters Pattie and husband, Harry, Shelly and fiancé Bill, and granddaughter Amanda at her side after three weeks of home hospice at Shelly’s house in Northport. Beloved wife of Henry Gates (pre-deceased) and past wife of Fred Panik (pre-deceased). Loving Mother of Pattie Falber (Harry), Michelle (Shelly) Marino ((fiancé, Bill), Heather Bifulco (Clem), and Mother-in-law to Ralph Marino (pre-deceased). Caring and cherished grandmother of Amanda Marino, Megan Powers (James), Samantha Belkin, Aaron Falber (Jillian), Christina Bifulco, Bryan Bifulco, Catherine Herkovic (Paul), Ralph Marino Jr., and Adam Marino (Arianna). Beloved great-grandmother of Leonard Falber, Matthew Marino, Daniel Marino, Colette Marino, and Milo Marino and “Nana” to a large extended family. Elaine was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 25,1928. Her family moved to Northport, NY, shortly thereafter, where she grew up and began a family before moving to Centerport where she remained when she married her beloved Henry. In addition to being a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she was a passionate and dedicated music teacher and educator, bringing the joy of music to the lives of countless students and instilling in them a life-long love of music and singing. Elaine had a long and distinguished 32-year career as an educator in the Huntington Public School System, rising to Director of Music Education for the entire Huntington Public School District. She was a founding faculty member at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatly Heights, NY, where she taught chorus and was Junior Chorus Director, spanning 42 years at Usdan. In 1975, she served the United Nations as Director of Chorus and album Producer – Children’s’ Singing Games Around the World. Elaine continued teaching at the university level at New York University from 1987 to 2014, where she served as a professor and Director of Undergraduate Music Education, Supervisor of Student Teachers, Chairperson of the Choral Department and founder and conductor of the NYU Children’s Chorus. She also was an adjunct professor at Queens College and an adjunct professor of Music Education at C.W. Post College/LIU. Upon retirement from higher education, Elaine returned to her roots. She became Director and Teacher of Music, Choir, and Theater at Long Island Lutheran Day School for pre-school – grade 5 students. She continued to teach and direct chorus as late as the spring of 2023 at St Paul’s Church in Northport. Among her contributions to music education and recipient of many honors and awards, she was a Semi-Finalist in the first-ever Grammy Music Educator Awards of 2013 and Co-Founder of the Children’s Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association.
A graduate of New York University, 1951; New Paltz State College, 1953; and Hofstra University 1976, Elaine held six certifications: New York K-12 Teacher of Vocal Music, New York K-12 Teacher of Instrumental Music, New York K-6 Teacher of Elementary Education, NYSSMA all-state vocal and chorus adjudicator, and NYSSMA piano adjudicator.
Elaine also served our country by enlisting in the WAVES in the United States Naval Reserve, Organized Surface Division, in July of 1950 for four years as an instructor in Navigation and a member of the USNR band in Huntington, NY. Simply put, Elaine, for her entire adult life, was a driving force for excellence in music education at all levels.
Visitation Friday 3-5 & 7-9pm at Nolan Funeral Home, Northport, NY. A religious service will take place 8pm.
Burial Saturday will be PRIVATE.